Pin It
Favorite

Film Listings, 2/28/19 – 3/7/19 

ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

Robert Rodriguez (El Mariachi, Spy Kids, Sin City, Planet Terror) directs Rosa Salazar as Alita, a half-human, half-advanced cyborg, who finds vengeance for the people of the post-apocalyptic world, Iron City, while finding out about her past. The movie is a live-action film adaptation of Gunnm, the Japanese cyberpunk manga series by Yukito Kishiro, also known as Battle Angle Alita in its English translated versions.

Alita is filled with action sequences that make us all feel good about sticking it to the man, or literally slicing the bad guys in half, but the plot's delivery falls short.

Alita doesn't have a single memory of her past but she does have an instinct for combat and does not shy away from a fight. Dr. Ido becomes her father figure and quickly tries to shield her from learning of her past. She's a berserker—a cyborg built for battle—and the last of that kind.

Before she discovers her true self, she inevitable falls in love with bad boy Hugo (Keean Johnson) and motorball—a game that resembles football on rollerblades but you're not on a team and if you get ripped to pieces, too bad so freaking sad, because you're poor and probably can't afford good replacement parts. The catch of motorball is that if you get to the championship games and win, you have a chance to go up to Zalem.

I think that once Alita finds out who she is and the mission she's had since her creation, it becomes overshadowed by her infatuation of Hugo—she's in love, we get it.

When I first saw the trailers for this movie, I was extremely skeptical because of its animation and Alita's ginormous eyeballs, but it really took me back to A.I. Artificial Intelligence. Similar to that film is the cliché sentiment of "Can a human love a robot?" and vice versa. The storylines within Alita, and there are a few, aren't revolutionary, but I'm here for the in-your-face action scenes, which are spectacular.

I will say that if there is a sequel in the works, I won't be mad about it and would definitely see it in theaters. (122 min.)

—Karen Garcia

ARCTIC

click to enlarge SURVIVOR Mads Mikkelsen stars as Overgård, a plane crash survivor who in turn must rescue a woman from a helicopter crash, in Arctic. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ARMORY PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Armory Pictures
  • SURVIVOR Mads Mikkelsen stars as Overgård, a plane crash survivor who in turn must rescue a woman from a helicopter crash, in Arctic.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Galaxy, The Palm

Pick

New comer Joe Penna directs Mad Mikkelsen as Overgård, a man stranded in the arctic and faced with the decision to leave the safety of his camp and embark on a deadly journey to save himself and another survivor.

What this film lacks in dialogue is abundant in emotion and action. The film really focuses on telling a story by the characters' reaction to this white, deserted land, rather than having the characters give us the play-by-play.

We're first introduced to Overgård as he's shoveling snow and instantly we know something is wrong because he's using a makeshift shovel and he looks weathered. The alarm on his watch goes off and he turns it off, collects his things, and walks over to a plane that he uses as his camp. The next shot is an aerial view, which shows that he's shoveled out the letters "SOS" in the hopes of flagging down a plane.

Overgård's backstory is unknown. Why is he out there, how did his plane crash, and how long has he been stranded? I can guess a good chunk of time, as he's missing some toes due to frostbite—creepy. What's certain is how prepared he is for survival. He has a pretty rigid schedule and is held accountable by his watch. He shovels fresh powder out of his distress signal; he tends to his waterhole and catches fish; and he climbs a high peak to crank his radio system in the hopes of catching a signal—grim clockwork.

In the middle of winding up the radio, he catches a signal and—holy crap there it is!—a helicopter emerges. Unfortunately, the helicopter decides to be the hero in the middle of a blizzard and bluntly crashes into the snow right before Overgård's eyes. Instead of falling into despair, Overgård takes in the moment and moves on, racing to the helicopter to save any survivors.

The pilot is dead but his second in command, a woman (Maria Thelma Smáradóttir), is conscious with a large gash on her stomach. Overgård takes her and some supplies he finds back (packages of ramen and a burner among other things, score!) to his plane and tends to her wound, but the woman is in a coma.

He studies a map that he found in the helicopter and discovers there's a seasonal station in the area but it's a more than three-day trek. Overgård knows neither he nor the woman will survive if he stays put and waits for help, so with the few supplies he has, he straps her onto a sled and pulls her through the perils of the arctic.

The film really does an amazing job at keeping the audience on the edge of their seats and feeling really guilty about complaining about the cold weather—ridiculous Californians. The silent vow that Overgård has made to keep this woman alive and the subtle moments of human interaction he has with her are really what makes this film so captivating. Mikkelsen delivered a strong performance as an isolated man who hasn't lost his wit or his ability to feel compassion even though he's lost it all. (98 min.)

Karen

BATHTUBS OVER BROADWAY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

In her directorial and writing debut, Dava Whisenant helms this documentary-comedy about Steve Young, a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman, who discovers a cache of vintage recordings marked "internal use only" that contain a Broadway-style show about major corporations such as General Electric, McDonald's, Ford, DuPont, and Xerox. Young goes in search of the composers and performers, opening up a new world of comedy and entertainment.

It's a remarkable find: actual musicals commissioned by ruthlessly efficient corporations to entertain, inspire, and (maybe hilariously) indoctrinate their employees. At times weird and almost always entertaining, this is the documentary you didn't know you needed! (98 min.)

—Glen

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Stadium 10

Pick

Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men, Superman Returns) directs this biopic about Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) and Queen, chronicling the band's rise to super stardom, Mercury's solo career and AIDS diagnosis, and their triumphant reunion and spellbinding performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert.

The film won four Academy Awards: Best Actor (Malek), Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Film Editing. (134 min.)

—Glen

COLD PURSUIT

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Stream it

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Stadium 10

Hans Petter Moland directs this action thriller about snowplow driver Nels Coxman (Liam Neeson), who's out for revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. This remake is based on Moland's 2014 Norwegian film, Kraftidioten (In Order of Disappearance).

This is a film that really wants to embody the black comedy vibe of the Coen brothers' Fargo (1996), with its glib tone, comic violence, and frigid locale. Unfortunately, it misses the mark. (118 min.)

—Glen

THE FAVOURITE

click to enlarge BEST ACTRESS! This year's Best Actress winner, Olivia Colman, stars as Queen Anne in The Favourite, returning to Bay Theater, Downtown Centre Cinemas, and Park Theater. - PHOTO COURTESY OF ELEMENT PICTURES
  • Photo Courtesy Of Element Pictures
  • BEST ACTRESS! This year's Best Actress winner, Olivia Colman, stars as Queen Anne in The Favourite, returning to Bay Theater, Downtown Centre Cinemas, and Park Theater.

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Bay, Downtown Centre, Park

Pick

Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth, The Lobster, The Killing of a Scared Deer) directs this early 18th century period piece about two warring women seeking favor from the ailing, prickly Queen Anne (Olivia Colman).

Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) is the queen's longtime companion who essentially runs the country during a time of war. Newcomer Abigail (Emma Stone), a new servant to the queen, uses her charms to gain power of her own as she attempts to return to her aristocratic roots.

The film was nominated for 10 Academy Award and Colman won for Best Actress. (119 min.)

—Glen

FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park

See Split Screen.

GREEN BOOK

click to enlarge BEST PICTURE, SCREENPLAY, AND SUPPORTING ACTOR! This year's Best Supporting Actor, Mahershala Ali (right), stars as pianist Dr. Don Shirley, in Best Picture-winner Green Book, returning to local theaters. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMWORKS
  • Photo Courtesy Of Dreamworks
  • BEST PICTURE, SCREENPLAY, AND SUPPORTING ACTOR! This year's Best Supporting Actor, Mahershala Ali (right), stars as pianist Dr. Don Shirley, in Best Picture-winner Green Book, returning to local theaters.

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Bay, Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

Co-writer Peter Farrelly (Dumb and Dumber, There's Something About Mary) directs this biopic about African-American pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali), who hires working-class Italian-American bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen) as his driver on a music tour of the 1960s American South. Though they're very different people, they develop a warm and enduring friendship. This is one of those classic feel-good movies only a true cynic could reject. Both lead characters come out of the other side of the story improved.

The film won three Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Ali), and Best Original Screenplay. (130 min.)

—Glen

GRETA

click to enlarge NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz, right) finds a purse on the subway and returns it to Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert), who harbors ill intent for her new acquaintance, in Greta. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SIDNEY KIMMEL ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Sidney Kimmel Entertainment
  • NOT WHAT SHE SEEMS Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz, right) finds a purse on the subway and returns it to Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert), who harbors ill intent for her new acquaintance, in Greta.

What's it rated? R

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Park, The Palm, Stadium 10

New

Co-writer/director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, The Good Thief) helms this horror mystery about lonely widow Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert), who's befriended by Frances McCullen (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young woman who finds Greta's purse on the subway and returns it. What begins a friendly relationship turns dark as Frances realizes that Greta is evil. (98 min.)

—Glen

HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Park

Pick

Writer/director Christopher Landon (Burning Palms, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) helms this sequel that picks up exactly where his original, Happy Death Day, left off, which is great for fans but quite unfortunate for lead character Theresa "Tree" Gelbman (Jessica Roth), the college student who spent the entirety of the first film reliving the day she was murdered over and over until she unmasked the killer. Just when Tree thought her time warped troubles were finally far behind her, it seems that her boyfriend's roommate, Ryan (Phi Vu), has inherited the same Groundhog Day-esque curse she suffered from.

And with the curse's resurgence comes a new killer, but one that dons the same hoodie and "Babyface" mask as the original murderer. But what keeps this sequel from becoming an exact replica of the original starts with its exploration of what started the time loop to begin with, as the characters never uncover its origin in the first film. (100 min.)

—Caleb Wiseblood

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

click to enlarge A WORTHY THREEQUEL Toothless the Night Fury dragon learns there are others of his kind, in the poignant and worthwhile How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DREAMWORKS ANIMATION
  • Photo Courtesy Of Dreamworks Animation
  • A WORTHY THREEQUEL Toothless the Night Fury dragon learns there are others of his kind, in the poignant and worthwhile How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World.

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Fair Oaks, Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10, Sunset Drive-In

Pick

Writer-director Dean DeBlois (Lilo & Stitch) helms this third installment in the franchise about Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and his Night Fury dragon, Toothless, who it turns out isn't the only Night Fury dragon after all. When Hiccup discovers there's a clandestine Dragon utopia, he and Toothless rush to find it before bad guy Grimmel (voiced by F. Murray Abraham) finds it first.

This closer to this trilogy hits the mark perfectly, continuing the series' visual delights and bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. Sure, you can find a few nits to pick, but if you and your family liked the first two, this one's sure to please. (104 min.)

—Glen

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

What's it rated? R

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? The Palm

Pick

Writer-director Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) helms this story based on James Baldwin's novel about Harlem woman Tish Rivers (KiKi Layne) trying to clear her fiancé, Alonzo "Fonny" Hunt (Stephan James), of a crime he didn't commit while carrying their first child.

If you want a reminder of all the ways the deck is stacked against black people in the U.S., this is the film. What's amazing about the film and book is it's also a complicated and tender love story, a celebration of black family life, and an optimistic clarion call that despite the horrors piled upon the black community, there's an unstoppable nobility there.

Regina King won Best Supporting Actress at this year's Academy Awards. The film was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score. (119 min.)

—Glen

ISN'T IT ROMANTIC

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10

Pick

Todd Struass-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, The Final Girls) directs this fantasy-comedy about Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a woman disenchanted by romance who finds herself living in a romantic comedy. This lightweight but funny rom-com manages to pull off a neat trick: It mocks and celebrates its genre simultaneously.

The film opens with 12-year-old Natalie (Alex Kis) as she gazes at the TV playing Pretty Woman. Natalie's mom (Jennifer Saunders) quickly disabuses her of the idea that romance is magical or that she's the kind of girl who could ever attract someone who will treat her like a princess.

Cut to the present. Now a romance-cynic working at an architecture firm where she's tasked with designing lowly parking garages, we quickly see Natalie is at the bottom of the social pecking order and convinced she's not worthy of love or even interested in it. She has no clue her workmate, Josh (Adam Devine), is interested in her, and her only friend—her assistant Whitney (Betty Gilpin)—can't seem open her to potential romance.

In a move pulled out of the rom-com cliché handbook, Natalie receives a head injury and awakens into an alternate universe solely populated by rom-com clichés. The client who formerly dissed her, Blake (Liam Hemsworth), now finds her "beguiling," and nerdy Josh manages to attract the attention of "Yoga Ambassador" and swimsuit model Isabella (Priyanka Chopra).

Desperate to escape this treacle-filled world, Natalie believes she needs to get Blake to tell her he loves her to break the spell and return to her own romance-free reality, and once she realizes she's stuck in rom-com land, Natalie tries to have a little fun with it. After all, Blake's a hunk. Why not enjoy him? When she awakens to him coming out of the shower but doesn't remember having sex with him, she tries to bed him only to cut to her awakening once again with him coming out of the bathroom wrapped in a towel. Not only is she trapped in rom-com land, it's a PG-13 rom-com land! Whenever she swears, it's covered by the sound of a car horn or some other ambient noise.

The film's also filled with homage to a lot of classic moments from rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally and My Best Friend's Wedding. It's all a little bit like The Wizard of Oz, where Natalie encounters the same characters from her real life but they're somehow different in this new world, and like Dorothy, Natalie just wants to get home. Of course, along the way she learns that she's worthy of romance, doesn't have to be everyone's doormat, and is talented architect.

Isn't It Romantic isn't nearly as good as some of the rom-coms it satirizes, but it manages to be a fun diversion largely thanks to its lead. Rebel Wilson has great comic timing, an expressive face, and a commitment to the role.

If you're looking for a light-as-a-feather farce that allows you to enjoy the rom-com genre while also smugly dismissing it, this is the film for you. (88 min.)

—Glen

THE LEGO MOVIE 2: THE SECOND PART

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Park, Stadium 10, Sunset Drive-in

Pick

Chris Pratt stars as the voice of Emmet Brickowski, a construction worker Lego who must save his friends from alien invaders and discover who he really is. This second film was released about five years after the first, The Lego Movie, with the same writers, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, but a new director, Mike Mitchell (Trolls, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, Sky High).

Like many sequels, this film falls short of presenting a unique storyline; it's your average coming-of-age story told while flying through other dimensions peppered with catchy (and annoying!) sing-along numbers. There's a lot of singing, but this time everything's not awesome, and a song could quite possibly get stuck in your head. (106 min.)

Karen

A MADEA FAMILY FUNERAL

click to enlarge SHE'S BACK Madea (writer-director-actor Tyler Perry, center) returns in this new story about Madea and her crew planning an unexpected funeral, in A Madea Family Funeral. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TYLER PERRY COMPANY
  • Photo Courtesy Of The Tyler Perry Company
  • SHE'S BACK Madea (writer-director-actor Tyler Perry, center) returns in this new story about Madea and her crew planning an unexpected funeral, in A Madea Family Funeral.

What's it rated? PG-13

Where's it showing? Park, Stadium 10

New

Writer-director and star Tyler Perry returns with another Madea film. This time around, Madea and her crew travel to rural Georgia where family secrets come to the surface as they plan an unexpected funeral. (102 min.)

—Glen

RUN THE RACE

click to enlarge INSPIRE High school football player Zach Truett (Tanner Stine) must persevere through the death of his mother and the abandonment of his father, in the faith-based film Run the Race, screening exclusively at Downtown Centre. - PHOTO COURTESY OF RESERVE ENTERTAINMENT
  • Photo Courtesy Of Reserve Entertainment
  • INSPIRE High school football player Zach Truett (Tanner Stine) must persevere through the death of his mother and the abandonment of his father, in the faith-based film Run the Race, screening exclusively at Downtown Centre.

What's it rated? PG

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre

New

Chris Dowling directs this faith-based sports drama about brothers Zach (Tanner Stone) and David (Evan Hofer), who are abandoned by their father and grieving the death of their mother in a small Southern town. The film features Tim Tebow as himself. (101 min.)

Glen

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

What's it rated? PG

What's it worth? Full price

Where's it showing? Downtown Centre, Galaxy, Stadium 10

Pick

Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman co-direct this animated action-adventure co-written by Phil Lord and co-produced by Christopher Miller (the duo best known for directing The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street). Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore) becomes the Spider-Man of his version of reality, then crosses into a parallel universe where he teams with other realities' Spider-Men and a Spider-Woman to stop a an evil that threatens all realities.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse does for Marvel what Teen Titans Go! To The Movies did for DC earlier this year: It takes these characters places that live action couldn't possibly allow (I could be eating these words in a year or so). Despite the comparison to a quite sillier film, Spider-Verse is surprisingly just as earnest as it is humorous. No matter how many one-liners, knee-slappers, and instances of breaking the fourth wall there are, the stakes feel real. (117 min.)

—Caleb

THE UPSIDE

What's it rated? PG-13

What's it worth? Matinee

Where's it showing? Galaxy, Stadium 10

Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless, Divergent) directs this American remake of the wonderful 2011 film, Les Intouchables, about Phillip (Bryan Cranston), a wealthy quadriplegic who hires Dell (Kevin Hart), a man with a criminal record, to help him with his day-to-day needs.

Score this as another one of those audience-pleasing films that critics find cliché and cloying. True, it's not as good as its French progenitor, but as a feel-good story of redemption, it works, and there's no denying Cranston and Hart's chemistry. (125 min.) Δ

—Glen

New Times movie reviews are compiled by Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey. Contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

Tags:

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Search, Find, Enjoy

Submit an event

Trending Now

© 2019 New Times San Luis Obispo
Powered by Foundation